CRACKDOWN

Why bottled water, soft drinks could land you in prison

From February 1, water, juice, energy drink, soda or non-alcoholic drinks without excise stamps will be illegal.

In Summary

•KRA in November last year gave a three-month window to manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and general public to comply with the new EGMS regulation.

•EGMS was first introduced on alcoholic drinks and cigarettes in 2013.

Hawkers selling soft drinks during a past event in Kakamega High school. /FILE
Hawkers selling soft drinks during a past event in Kakamega High school. /FILE

You will have your bottle of water, juice, energy drink, soda or non-alcoholic drink taken away from Saturday if it does not have an excise stamp, with possible prosecution for being in possession.

The charges could include tax evasion.

This comes as the three-month window given to manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and the general public to comply with the new Excisable Goods Management System(EGMS) regulation ends on Friday( January 31.)

All these products must now be affixed with an excise stamp from the production line, as KRA moves to fully implement phase two of the EGMS regulations.

“Any persons found in the possession (of the products) manufactured or imported into Kenya on or after November 13, 2019 not bearing an excise stamp will lead to seizure of all listed products in their possession, and offenders will be prosecuted,” commissioner for domestic taxes Elizabeth Meyo said in a public notice on Tuesday.

All manufacturers and importers of these products are now required to take full account of products manufactured or imported into Kenya prior to November 13, 2019 that do not have excise stamps in their stores and submit these stocks to the nearest Tax Service Office by January 31, 2020.

“Distributors and retailers are advised not to take away or reject products manufactured or imported before the November 13, 2019 not bearing the excise stamps from their shelves,” the taxman said.

The second phase comes after the successful implementation of the EGMS system on alcoholic drinks and cigarettes in 2013.